PAL is a research project funded both by TSB and by EPSRC as part of TSB’s Assisted Living platforms program. The project started on 1 July 2009 and the initial partners were University of Essex, BT, University of Cambridge and Ericsson UK. After the withdrawal of our industrial partners, the project now gained three new partners: HW Communications, MAC Ltd. and Thales (UK).

The main focus of our project is to look at how future healthcare services impact current and future communication infrastructures. Current assisted living scenarios are mostly working only in certain environments and are not able to provide a continuous support to users. One of the main reasons for this disconnected operation mode is the existence of different communication infrastructures. In our project we consider how a future system able to provide a seamless and continuous experience in assisted living scenarios should look and what current and future solutions are required.
In order to create user-centred solutions, we start from various assisted living scenarios, including self-monitoring and self-management as well as social support networks (i.e., professionals and other caretakers), and identify the requirements that such future healthcare services place on the networking infrastructures. During the duration of the project we plan to involve a number of health-related organizations and end users that will provide us with a better understanding of user requirements as well as help us test some of the solutions we intend to build.
Our ultimate goal is to create solutions that support people anytime and anywhere by employing appropriate interface and interaction paradigms, regardless of the underlying networking and software technologies.

We believe that future assisted living solutions should:

  • Actively involve end users through self-monitoring and self-management
  • Address also prevention not only treatment
  • Allow for usage anytime/anywhere over multiple devices, infrastructures and interaction paradigms
  • Integrate support networks of various types (e.g., professional, family, friends, charities, support groups)
  • Enable social inclusion
  • Be easy to use, taking into account various user abilities
  • Adapt to people, not the other way around